Preparing the ground for the New River Bridge

Work is starting this month to prepare the ground for the New River Bridge scheme in Essex Road, Hoddesdon, in the Borough of Broxbourne, which will see a new bridge built to improve access to Hoddesdon Business Park, helping to support local businesses and the local economy.

Work will begin during October to clear vegetation, divert cables and undertake site investigations and ecological works in preparation for the construction of the bridge. The main construction works will begin in early 2020.

The existing bridge on Essex Road is the only HGV access to the Hoddesdon Business Park. This 118 hectare site is one of the largest employment areas in Hertfordshire and houses major employers, including Sainsbury’s, and houses the Ambition Broxbourne Business Centre. The existing bridge is 60 years old and not built to modern standards. Both the road and pavement are very narrow, making it difficult for large vehicles to pass. This means that the bridge acts as a bottleneck, and any incident that requires repairs to the bridge will have a major impact on the business park.

The new bridge will be built alongside the existing bridge to provide a new modern and resilient road link to improve access to and from the Business Park for all vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists.

The existing bridge will remain open while construction work takes place.

Phil Bibby, Cabinet Member for Highways and Environment, said: “This new bridge is the sort of important infrastructure that we need to be investing in to support our local economy. Local jobs are crucial to achieving sustainable growth and the bridge will make it much easier for vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians to get to and from the Hoddesdon Business Park, making it a much more attractive place for business.
“With around 100,000 new homes expected in Hertfordshire by 2031, we need to create 100,000 new jobs, so it’s vital that we invest in key schemes to improve the road network to unlock economic potential and keep our economy thriving as the population grows.”

The scheme, developed by Hertfordshire County Council in conjunction with Broxbourne Borough Council, is supported by an £8.9m Local Growth Fund investment from Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), £1.47m from Hertfordshire County Council, and £400,000 of S106 funding from Broxbourne Borough Council.

Adam Wood, Head of Infrastructure & Regeneration at Hertfordshire LEP, said: “Our £8.9m investment toward the New River Bridge scheme will significantly boost connectivity into and around Broxbourne’s largest employment area and is critical to maintaining its economic vitality.

“The new bridge and link road will fully connect Hoddesdon Business Park with the strategic highway network to benefit existing businesses, attract new businesses, and unlock the area’s growth potential.”

The Rt Hon Jake Berry MP, Minister for Local Growth, said: “We’re committed to boosting economic growth across the whole of the UK and levelling up our regions as we prepare to leave the EU on 31 October.

“Thanks to £8.9 million investment from the Government’s Local Growth Fund, communities in Broxbourne will benefit from vital upgrades in infrastructure which will not only unlock the economic potential of the area, but also improve accessibility via a newly constructed bridge and wider roads – greatly enhancing the travel experience for road users and improving connectivity throughout Hertfordshire.”

Councillor Lewis Cocking, Leader of Broxbourne Council said: “As one of the largest employment areas in Hertfordshire and one of the most important in the Borough, it is essential that businesses here have every opportunity to thrive and grow.

“Improvements to the transport links in and out of the Industrial Estate will not only improve vehicle access, but will also provide a safe footway and cycleway creating sustainable alternative ways to travel”.

Two public events are planned for November so that local businesses and residents can meet the contractors, learn about the construction plans and discuss and concerns they may have.

There is more information about the scheme at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/newriverbridge